Name: Tony Manev
School: Orono High School
What was your most memorable race/meet?
think it was state meet indoor this year when I jumped 20 feet for the
first time. I'd had my eyes on 20 feet for about a year. I remember
feeling frustrated and hopeless because I was jumping 19'10" and 19'11"
and I had just pulled my groin muscle the week before so every jump was
super painful. Finally I popped 20'1" and I remember jumping up and down
and even crying because I was so happy and the whole team and my
coaches were watching and they all ran over to hug me. Later that day
our 4x2 PR'd by about 2 seconds and got 3rd when we were supposed to get
9th. It was a great day.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
I've had some great competitors over the past 4 years, great athletes like Ben Cotton, Jack Dunning, Steve Fitzpatrick and Josh Willey in the sprints and jumps. I'd say all my own teammates were my biggest competition because always were pushing each other to be the best we could be, whether it's sprinting alongside Braeden Selby, hyping ourselves up before monster jumps with Trent Lick, dying on our the hills of our home XC course with Thorin Saucier, or racing Jonny Spencer, Jonathan Steelman, Trenton Ellis, Patrick Tyne, Jacob Fandel, Keenan Collett and Josiah Grace in meets or in practices.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Winning the 300mH at PVCs this year. I remember freshman year I didn't qualify for the meet and I watched my fellow teammates place and win in multiple events. I was so inspired by them and told myself then that one day I would get to stand on top of that podium, beaming at the crowd with my first place medal and sure enough 3 years later, after lots of determination and perseverance, it finally happened.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your xc/track&field career in high school?
I would've done XC my freshman year and indoor my freshman and sophomore years and focused on training more when I was younger. But what's more important is that I wouldn't have compared myself so much to others. Lots of times I would PR but I wouldn't let myself be too happy because it "wasn't good enough." I didn't realize until recently that the whole point of track isn't to be someone else's definition of "good" but to just give it the best you've got and have fun doing something you love.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
My nerves before a race (from 100m to the 5K) definitely were the most difficult thing I had to overcome. I had an issue attacking races because of this. I would feel like I wanted to throw up or cry or just curl up in a ball and lay down before races, doubting my strength. Eventually, I learned there was no escaping the pain of running so I might as well just embrace it and give it my all, and not worry about the time at the end. I ended up being pretty happy at the finish line.
What will you miss the most?
I can't pick one thing, there's so many. I'll miss lactic 300s in the pouring rain. I'll miss the Frog Squad (the long jumpers). I'll miss feeling like a ninja over hurdles. Yes Coach White, I'll miss the 21 Hills workout (which somehow became 30 hills hmmm...). I'll miss the closeness of the boys' XC team and our 4x1 relay from this year so much. I'll miss team dinners. I'll miss the feeling of running my heart out on the track or the final kick on the trail and seeing all my teammates cheer for me. I'll miss memorizing and making spreadsheets of all of MileSplit's stats (although I'll definitely still be doing that). I'll even miss Coach Libby's jokes. I'll miss the hype, hugs, cries and smiles. But missing something is part of what makes it a great memory.
What advice you would give to younger athletes?
Put your game face on and push yourself to your limits, you'll surprise yourself with what you can do. Keep doing you, nobody does it better. (Also remember to set your alarm on meet days for the right day)
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?Coach Libby, Coach White, Coach Brandon and Coach Miguel were the coaches I worked with the most. They taught me how to work hard for something I really want and never quit. I think this work ethic is something that defines me and will stick with me for the rest of my life.
What are your college plans?
I'll be attending Boston College and majoring in business. I'll probably be doing club track and running a lot.
Who would you like to say thank you to?
Thank you to my talented teammates for the friendships we've built, thank you to my coaches for all the time they put in to making track and XC what I looked forward to everyday for 4 years, thank you to my parents for coming to every meet and supporting me and thank you to everyone else who made this sport so special for me.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
"Just keep swimming"